Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Lockout Movie Poster Image
Outer-space rescue adventure has lots of action violence.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The two main characters triumph over difficult odds and escape alive, though they fail in their efforts to save any other innocent people. Characters argue about whether the president's daughter should take priority over any other civilians in a dangerous situation; the answer appears to be "yes."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character is highly skilled but a scoundrel; he's selfish and cracks jokes at others' expense. He's lots of fun to watch but not someone to emulate. As for the heroine, she's brave and tries to do good things, but she winds up being a damsel in distress, secondary to the action, and romantically drawn to the scoundrel.


Violence is constant, though not extreme. There's some blood and almost constant fighting and chasing. The most gruesome things, like an exploding head, happen off screen. Many characters are shot and killed or die in other ways. The main character grabs a knife by its blade, slicing his hand. One character is a rapist, and though he sets his sights on his new victim, he doesn't actually rape anyone during the movie. The main male character punches the main female character in the face and generally mistreats her. A convict's face is burned on a piece of hot metal. There's a headless corpse, and a character gets a hypodermic needle injected into their eye. The images of convicts developing psychosis from their deep freeze can be a bit scary.


Some strong sexual innuendo. After a fall, a woman lands with her face in a man's crotch. He makes a fellatio-related joke. A man talks about "trampolining" someone's wife. "Foreplay" is mentioned. And the female lead makes a comment about whether the male lead is "good in bed." Other moments of sexual tension between the male and female lead. A character talks about "taking it out of my pants" while in church.


"F--k" is used once, and "s--t" many times. Other words include "bitch" and "son of a bitch," "a--hole," "hell," "ass," "crap," "damn," "goddamn," and "d--k," as well as "Jesus" and "oh my God" (as exclamations).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The lead character smokes cigarettes throughout the movie, sometimes for comic effect.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lockout is a futuristic action movie with almost constant fighting and chasing, as well as shooting, dead bodies, and some blood. The main male character is a cocky scoundrel who treats the main female character with disrespect (including punching her), even though she's shown to be brave. She winds up becoming a damsel in distress and a romantic interest for him; as a result, there's sexual tension and innuendo between them. Language includes one "f--k," many uses of "s--t," and more. The main character also regularly smokes cigarettes, mainly -- it seems -- to annoy others.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byThe best moviereview July 28, 2013


This is a great movie for kids ages 10 and up!
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byklabick September 15, 2012

Do not see it ever

Not good and way to violent.
Teen, 15 years old Written byMr Blonde January 28, 2014
Kid, 11 years old January 14, 2014

Choppy action-packed disappointment, disrespects and disputes the success of "Taken."

Imagine a mug or hot cocoa, with whipped cream trickling down the sides of the cup. That's exactly what "Lockout" is via action violence. The vio... Continue reading

What's the story?

Agent Snow (Guy Pearce) is caught while trying to transport a mysterious briefcase and is arrested for murder and espionage. He faces a long prison sentence but is given a second chance when the president's daughter, Emilie (Maggie Grace), finds herself trapped on a space station filled with dangerous escaped prisoners. If Snow can rescue her, he can buy his freedom. Fortunately, the secret of the lost briefcase is also on the station, and Snow hopes to find it while he's there and clear his name. But Snow discovers that Emilie isn't so easy to rescue; she refuses to leave without taking the rest of the hostages with her.

Is it any good?

Co-written and produced by Luc Besson, LOCKOUT has its benefits, most notably a fun lead character and a fun performance by Pearce (Snow could be the subject of sequels). It also has a great setting that has been underused by the rookie directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger. Their camerawork is jerky and hurried, and they tend to ignore some of the aspects of outer space that could have been useful or interesting. Oddly, that makes Lockout the first disappointing movie that concentrates too much on character and not enough on action.

Besson is very good at grinding out relatively cheap, high-concept "B" movies filled with action. There's no question that he has a flair for breezy stories and simple, appealing characters. He has apparently worked on some 50 movies in the past decade, some of them quite delightful. But quantity does not always lead to quality.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Lockout's violence. Does it create tension and thrills, or is it disturbing? What's shown and not shown? Which has more impact?

  • Is the president's daughter a role model, or is she a victim or a stereotype? What's the impact of the violence against women in this movie?

  • Does the main character look cool when he smokes? Why do you think he chooses to do it?

  • Is rescuing the president's daughter alone more important than rescuing as many hostages as possible?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action and sci-fi

Themes & Topics

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